Falling land and livestock prices have hit the state-owned farmer Landcorp – known as Pāmu – in the financial year to 30 June.
Electioneering National had proposed selling some farms but Labour wouldn’t hear of it.
Its 2017 annual report shows asset values rose to $1.81 billion in 2016-17, an increase of $27.9m on 2015-16. Debt fell from $219.6m to $206.9m.
Recently re-branded as Pāmu Farms of New Zealand, the company’s chief executive Steve Carden says the 2017 result is very pleasing and reflects higher returns from milk, beef and venison.
“As we enter the halfway point of the financial year our business is tracking well. However, any downward pressure in commodity prices as we head into 2018 will impact our result.”
Carden says the company has focused on cutting debt and reinvesting in the business recently as part of its overall strategy. Ongoing solid trading conditions indicate another profitable year ahead, he says.
“Pāmu is looking at how we can enhance shareholder value, not just by being a price-taker at the farmgate, but by adding value right along the food chain.
“Agriculture needs to be changing and evolving in what it produces in response to consumer demand,” said.
“Whether partnering with Spring Sheep Milk Co to offer a unique product range, or providing high quality wool to NZ Merino for the innovative brands they work with... Pāmu is always looking at ways to drive value and innovation.”
Carden says the company is going from strength to strength and the last few years of intensive refocusing is now bearing fruit.